In 2014, the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council Establishing a Space Surveillance and Tracking Support Framework was adopted. The objective of the SST Support Framework is to contribute to ensuring the long-term availability of European and national space infrastructure, facilities and services which are essential for the safety and security of the economies, societies and citizens in Europe. Specifically, this is done by:
- Assessing and reducing the risks to in-orbit operations of European spacecraft from collisions;
- Reducing the risks relating to the launch of European spacecraft;
- Surveying and providing early warning of uncontrolled re-entries of spacecraft or space debris;
- Seeking to prevent the proliferation of space debris.
The projects supported by this Framework aim to establish a SST capability at European level with an appropriate level of European autonomy, comprised of three functions:
- Sensor Function – consisting of a network of Member State ground-based and/or space-based sensors to survey and track space objects,
- Processing Function – processing and analysing SST data at national level to produce SST information and SST services.
- Service Function – providing SST services to the EU user community such as spacecraft operators and civil protection authorities.